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"Where we going, man?"
Perhaps that's what we need to keep asking ourselves:"Where we going?"
I'm not sure if all the specifics of where we're going is all that important since we keep changing our plans. But at least it's true that "we gotta go" if we're ever going to get somewhere. So even if there isn't any one destination "we gotta go" to, we still need a direction to head towards. The question is whether it's 'higher up and further in' or is it 'lower down and further out'.' Maybe that's all we need to know... the rest will take care of itself if we're going in a direction that's in alignment with our soul's deepest desires.
But how do we don't know what that is? It seems few really know what they want. And yet isn't that what life is all about, discovering who we are while finding our way, even though we don't always know what's around the next corner. There are plenty of twists and turns on the road ahead and yet we keep moving forward to somewhere, even when it seems we're not.
The question is whether we have a vision or are we just drifting, content to be swept along with everyone else, becoming more complacent as we grow older each day. Or, are we relishing the journey each day, living not in the past or in the future, but in the moment? But for that to happen, we need to come alive, knowing who we are and what we want. What we're drawn towards. In other words, our affections, since that's what really defines us and the quality of our soul.
If we know that much, we're can at least be intentional in what direction we wish to move forward. That's why it's really important to know our Self, the divine within. As recorded in the most ancient of literature: 'KNOW THYSELF.' And yet, in the words of the French writer, Albert Camus,“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”
Is it because he doesn't know what he is?
This is why many are unwilling to venture onto the road... too afraid of what might happen. Just as Bilbo warned Frodo, "there's no telling where you might be swept off to."
The challenge for the reader who ventures through Elysium's Passage, is the same as Mo leaves James with below in Chapter 23 of The Summit.
Enjoy the dialogue:
‘Splendid, so if you think you know more about me than I know about myself, then there’s no need for me to keep second guessing who I am; just tell me and we’ll be done with it.’
‘Are you not listening?’ he said, ‘only you can discover who you are. It’s that way for everyone, though few seem to care. All we can tell you is what we see from without. Only you can see what’s within. But still you don’t wish to see who you are.’
‘Okay then, tell me what I don’t wish see and I’ll be sure to have a peek.’
‘Are you sure you want to know?’ Mo asked.
‘Why wouldn’t I?’
Eli looked at me as if to say, wrong answer James… you’re about to get nailed!
‘I’ll tell you what I see that you don’t,’ Mo said. ‘I see a man of great love that can’t love; I see a man of great vision who can’t envision; I see a man of purpose who has no purpose; I see a man of great accomplishment who hasn’t accomplished.’
He paused for a moment and then said, ‘but if you wanted, you could change that. Remember, you’re no longer in the Lowlands! But now you’re telling us you don’t want to change because it may inconvenience you; maybe even cause you some aggravation. Well, isn’t that just too bad?’
Mo wasn’t about to let up as he stood to his feet, talking down to me with his finger pointing towards me repeatedly as I remained slouched in my seat by the fire. His voice rose again, ‘so why in bloody hell would you all of a sudden care what others think? That’s hardly what we would expect from a man that’s not afraid to go to the edge and stare into the abyss.
‘Are you not the hero who left the safety of the Lowlands to struggle up this Mountain so you might see and know what others could never see or know? And now, after all that, will you be the same man going down as the courageous man that went up?’
I was speechless; it felt like I had just been slammed in the face by a gangplank. Never before had Mo come down on me so harshly. Yet I knew that what he said had a sting of truth. Despite of all the university degrees I acquired and all the beautiful women I slept with, I knew there was something missing that prevented me from finding what I was looking for.
After a few moments of dead silence, Eli finally spoke up. ‘The impression Mo and I are getting from you,’ he said, ‘is that you’re concerned what the critics may say about your story. But really, when has that ever held you back before? When did you ever back down in a seaport brawl; even when you were too sloshed to defend yourself, you weren’t down for long before you threw yourself back into the fray. And how about all the times you stood up to the administration for your rights?’
‘Yes, but hopefully my brawling days are over,’ I said, ‘especially after that last night at the pub. I’m wiser now so there’s no need for me to mindlessly confront my opponents by charging after them.’
‘I’m sure we all agree,’ he said, ‘but there’s another type of charge that would be far more effective in confronting the dark forces. I would it call the "Charge of the Light Brigade," where you fearlessly extinguish ignorance with the light of knowledge and understanding.’
At the moment I couldn’t think of what to say, except to tell Eli he had taken the word light out of context in Tennyson’s poem, which was about cavalry carrying weapons of light weight on horses, although I’m sure he already knew that.
More daunting, however, was Mo, who it appeared was about to land a few more blows as I braced myself for another onslaught. This time, however, I would stand firm and not allow myself to be taken down.
‘If I seem hard on you at times,’ Mo said, ‘it’s only to help you see what you can’t see for yourself. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying you don’t have great capacity for love, vision, purpose and accomplishment. To the contrary, I’m saying you most certainly do; the problem is you still don’t know yourself well enough to understand what any of that means, and so you can’t experience what you don’t know.
‘In the Lowlands, you could only experience love as outward gratification, rather than inward union. Your vision was obstructed by the dull haze of things outside rather than seeing by the brilliant light within. Purpose was driven by career rather than conviction. Accomplishment was about transition rather than transformation. Yet, in spite of all that, you had sufficient vision to ascend this Mountain so that you might find your love, vision and purpose to accomplish what has already been accomplished within, albeit provisionally. If only you knew you the way I know you, you would know you have what it takes, but you have not understood any of this.’
Again, I didn’t know what to say. If only he had stopped there, all would have been forgiven, but then he circled around once more for the kill.
‘But when I see you slithering off this Summit, concerned only about career, money and reputation, I get concerned… very concerned. Of course, you can do whatever you want, it’s your life; live it any way you like. But you’ll live it knowing you slipped back down to the land of fear and darkness, having denied Elysium’s call.
‘So tell me, who is the real James? And tell me where he is going; further up and further in, or is he retreating further down and further out? And does he even know the difference?’
With that, he glared at me for a moment and then walked out the door without saying another word. It would be days before I saw him again.
I looked at Eli and he looked back at me. I couldn’t tell if he was embarrassed by Mo’s diatribe, or just curious to see my reaction. He then got up and went down into the cellar, soon returning with a couple pints of bitter.
‘So where in the bloody hell did that come from,’ I asked?
‘The cellar,’ he said ingenuously, as he handed me a bottle.
‘No you lunkhead. The outburst; what’s Mo’s problem?’
‘Oh that?’ Eli said. ‘I won’t really say an outburst; he just wants to make sure you didn’t come all this way for nothing after you return.’
‘Why should that be a problem; obviously I have to go down sooner or later?’
‘Actually you don’t, even when you do,’ he said. ‘What he’s saying is if you are true to your Self, you will always be ascending this Summit and perhaps others that are even higher. And so, even while you dwell in the Lowlands, your heart will continue to soar here. You don’t have to remain down there, even when it seems you do… if you know what I mean.’
‘I’m not sure I do, but to be honest, I need to think ahead about what’s going to happen to me wherever I end up.’
‘I think what really got Mo worked up,’ he said, ‘was the way you sometimes appear to be slipping back into the Lowlands, especially when you talk about your mushy worries and concerns, rather than standing firm on this solid rock Summit for what you know to be true. He detests fear, but admires courage, and so he’s saying, in his own inimitable way, that’s what he expects you to aver. Indeed, it was a shot across the bow, but he has no intent to sink your ship.’
‘It hardly seemed that way,’ I said.
‘And yet he’s right;’ Eli said, ‘whether you are conscious of it or not, you came here for a reason. He just wants to make sure you know what you’re doing because he’s not so sure you do.’
‘He could have tried a little diplomacy.’
‘And how well would that have worked? Mo understands you well enough to know what’s required to get your attention when nothing else will. If it seemed he was calling you a slithering coward, try not to be offended, unless of course, you are,’ he smiled wryly.
From Chapter 23, What it Takes. Elysium's Passage: The Summit
For my part, I plan to be on the road again sometime soon on my own adventure with the Elysium's Passage series. Its a little frightening to think about, but still its more exciting that frightening... and so I'm going to do it. Don't know how, but that's not really all that important.
All I know is I wish to have some speaking gigs in the near future along with various book sale promotions out there. I don't know specifically where I will go, who I will talk to or what I will be speaking about. But as I said, it's not really all that important at this point, just that I step out 'on the road' and see where it leads.
To me this is kind of what it felt like over fifty years ago, back in the summer of '67 (the summer of love -- except not for me). That's when I hit the road after graduating from high school in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada, a small city of about 10,000.
With only a few dollars in my pocket, a suitcase and my thumb stuck out, I found myself on the road full of excitement, not knowing what was next. The adventure... it’s really heady stuff when you are start out.
I won't go into all the details (there are tons too many), about sleeping in the ditch outside of Regina as it began to rain that first night, or how got I turned back at the American border at Emerson the next day, then spending a couple of adventurous weeks in Winnipeg staying at the YMCA before making another charge to the border; this time successfully.
And so I spent the next six months following and working state fairs all over the US, including Minneapolis, Minnesota, Spenser and Waterloo, Iowa; Jackson, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; Jacksonville, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona then back to Florida for a month or so before catching a ride to Duluth, Minnesota; then taking the Greyhound the rest of the way back to home in Calgary, Canada (after almost freezing to death trying to hitch hike in very freezing temperatures, only to return to Florida a few weeks later to start college very close to the beach where the beautiful tanned girls wore hardly anything. (Yes, I understand that paragraph was a run on sentence -- but so what? James Joyce did it all the time.)
Anyway, between Air Canada's half-fair stand-by flights and my thumb, I made several trips back and forth over the next four years. And it didn't end then when I started the University of Calgary, at least not until I got married -- that has a way of changing everything, which probably explains why I've stayed that way since becoming single again several glorious years ago.
The first part of Elysium's Passage: The Summit speaks much about bogs (not blogs), swamps and the inevitable ruts in life -- we all get caught in them on our way through life... can't help it. The trick is not to stay there -- at least not for long if you want to get anywhere.
By now, I hope everyone understands I'm using my outward life to talk about our inward journey to keep moving on, to keep growing and climbing higher up as we move further into our souls where we find the Source of our being. Some call it the Self, some the Atman, and many like myself call it the Christ. All have the divine Presence within, although I'm not sure if many are aware of the Presence, since the illusory self, that which we all the separate ego-mind will do anything to prevent that. Its illusory existence depends on distracting us from finding what our heart knows
But when you align with the divine Presence through the heart's portal, you have entered the Kingdom of God.
According to D.L. Salinger however, famous and infamous author of Catcher in the Rye, we all have a significant problem in doing this. As he says in Zooey (1957):
"Jesus knew -- knew -- that we're carrying the Kingdom of Heaven around with us, inside, where we're all too goddam stupid and sentimental and unimaginative to look.
You have to be a son of God to know that kind of stuff."
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Elysium's Passage Novel Series
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or the Elysium's Passage website at www.elysiumspassage.com and click MY BLOG
SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE: THE SUMMIT
This the first in a series of five Elysium narrations regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.
After experiencing a near fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding about life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed, or could believe.
An engaging and sometime surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality and our ultimate destiny.
The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.
To read a sample press review at https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm
With the exception of the last novel, the other three have been written but still require more editing before publication.
The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows:
THE SUMMIT is now available
SURREAL ADVENTURES spring 2019
MYSTICAL ROMANCE fall 2019
HE ELIXIR spring 2020
THE RETURN sometime in 2021
E L Y S I U M ’ S P A S S A G E
NOVEL SERIES BY NG MEYERS
The following comments are among the first Amazon reviews of Elysium’s Passage: The Summit. All are Five Stars! Others reader reviews are included below, along with excerpts from two professional reviews. These comments are abridged. To read the full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com
"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…"
"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture and humour; Mr. Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”
“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"
“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing, but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”
“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting, yet calming, experience that is not to be missed."
"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters, kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."
“N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."
“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”
“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous thought provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humor together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”
“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”
“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.”
“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr. Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”
“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)
“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.” (CLARION REVIEW)